Saturday's Wild Hog marathon comes with traffic, parking restrictionsResidents and others planning to travel around the Grand Forks area this weekend should prepare for traffic restrictions. The second annual Wild Hog Half Marathon will include three different race routes starting Friday night.
By: John Hageman, Grand Forks Herald
Residents and others planning to travel around the Grand Forks area this weekend should prepare for traffic restrictions.
The second annual Wild Hog Half Marathon will include three different race routes starting Friday night.
The 5K race course will be closed 6-8 p.m. Friday, according to race director Richard Dafoe. That course starts on 44th Avenue South and heads east until it comes back to the starting line.
On Saturday, the 10K and half marathon will wind through south Grand Forks and then turn north and follow the Red River, resulting in parking and traffic restrictions along the route. The half marathon also snakes through part of downtown Grand Forks and East Grand Forks.
The half marathon will cross a few bridges, including the Sorlie Bridge coming from East Grand Forks. Dafoe said that bridge will be open to one-way traffic during the race for those coming from East Grand Forks into Grand Forks. He said the bridge should be reopened by 10:30 a.m.
The Point Bridge will be closed 8-10 a.m. Saturday, Dafoe said. The Louis Murray Bridge, however, will be open to two-way traffic during the race.
The course will begin opening up mile-by-mile every 16 minutes, Dafoe said.
Streets will be blocked off by either city employees or volunteers, depending on the level of traffic there. Dafoe said volunteers will try to help drivers cross the route at certain points if needed.
“If there are runners on the course, they’re going to hold them and have them wait,” Dafoe said. “But as soon as there’s an opening where it’s safe for the runners, they’ll let them sneak out and get them out of there as quick as they can.”
Those living on the route can exit their driveways, but Dafoe urged drivers to be careful when doing so, and to leave the course as soon as possible.
Dafoe said affected residents were notified by mail that the race would cause traffic restrictions, and fliers would be posted along the route Tuesday night. He asked that residents and drivers inconvenienced by the race to be patient with volunteers.
“It’s always a hard situation because people feel like their rights are being infringed upon … and we understand that,” Dafoe said. “We’re trying to be as neighborly as possible.”
Friday: The 5K route will be closed 6-8 p.m. Sections will be open as soon as all runners are clear.
Saturday: The 10K and half marathon route will be closed starting at 7:30 a.m. and will be completely reopened by 11:30 a.m. The course will open up on a rolling schedule, with a mile reopening every 16 minutes. The Sorlie Bridge on DeMers Avenue will be open only to traffic coming from East Grand Forks during the race. The Point Bridge will be closed, but the Louis Murray Bridge will stay open.
Parking: There is no parking along the route during course closure times.
Bus schedule: City bus routes 1 and 12 will be detoured Saturday morning during the races. On route 1 the following areas won’t be served: the 40th Avenue South and Cherry Street stop, Great Plains Court, Chestnut Street and Belmont Road. On Route 12, the 40th Avenue South and Cherry Street stop won’t be served. Regular routes will resume at noon. For more information call Cities Area Transit at (701) 746-2600.